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Poster: MentalAsAnything Date: Sep 1, 2007 6:29am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Public domain films that aren`t

I`m just getting into PD films and am suprised how many films listed as PD are actually copyright according to the official search at http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First !

Horror Hotel had its rights restored under GATT/URAA, a 1993 agreement secured rights to distribute McLintock exclusively, my man Godfrey had its copyright renewed by Universal in 1985, etcetera.

So I thought a company who release public domain films officially to companies for redistribution would know for sure, I checked out desertislandfilms.com and even they get it wrong as they list three great little films as public domain when they are not - bad taste, hangar 18 and the fantastic planet.

So how can anyone ever know for sure if a big company like that can sell "pd" films that aren`t?

Is it just me or is this really confusing!?

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Poster: whispers Date: Sep 25, 2007 11:00am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

Just because it's registered doesn't mean it will withstand legal scrutiny. Sometimes companies attempt to "renew" copyright even when it's been in public domain for a very long time. "My Man Godfrey"'s renewal would probably not hold up in court - there are so many grey areas based on soundtrack, scripts, etc. Happens all the time with old time radio.

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Poster: NDArch Date: Sep 1, 2007 9:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

I also did a check a short while ago for some movies listed as PD on Desert Island, The Public-Domain Movie Database, and Public Domain Torrents, I found that some that were listed as PD on one or more of the sites were actually CR'd according to the US Copyright Office. Three of the good ones that remain in CR, but are (or were) listed as PD on at least one of the above sites are A Boy and His Dog, The Gorgon, and The Grand Duel.

Despite the above, I think two of the best places to find real PD movies is here at Archive.org and also at Public Domain Torrents. Mistakes happen, and these two sites appear to at least recheck movies or respond to new information informing them that a movie is not in PD.

And I really dislike it when I when purchase a DVD of an old movie at a store and then find that the quality is less than that of a free (if, of course, the movie is in PD) download I find later on the net. A sad state of affairs, at times.

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Poster: MentalAsAnything Date: Sep 1, 2007 12:22pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

I know what you mean about the quality, I`ve set up VirtualDubMod with some filters to improve the video for me.

If desertislandfilms are selling films that are not pd, then given that they list among their clients some top film studios I would have thought someone would have said something to them by now?

I emailed them twice asking if five specific films they sell are really pd (bad taste, santa clause conquers the martians, the fantastic planet, hnagar 18) but got no reply :(

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Poster: kris1999 Date: Oct 12, 2007 3:16pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

What seems to be needed is some tool or address where people can report these non-PD or possibly non-PD films which have ended up in archive.org.

I spotted yet another film which clearly isn't PD. It was only made 30 years ago, the production company still exists and makes its money from its back catalogue.

I know it sounds like I'm trying to encourage people to remove films from here, but this site is not here for illegal downloads, it's meant to be a resource where people can reasonably confidently download a film under a PD or similar licence. They might, for example want to use excerpts in their own film, or as part of a compilation they're making. If there are copyright films mixed in with non-copyright, and films with incorrectly labelled licences, it spoils the quality of the whole archive.org resource.

If people want unrestricted downloads and don't care about the copyright status, there are PLENTY of file-sharing sites out there that have every copyrighted film you could want.

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Poster: couchpotato Date: Oct 12, 2007 4:25pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

Amen!

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Poster: studio44 Date: Nov 13, 2007 7:22pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

Do you work for a studio, or are you an informant. Copyright law is a specialized area of law, it amazing the number of idiots who are experts in it.

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Poster: jonc Date: Oct 12, 2007 5:04pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

If you look below the download links, there is also a "Report Errors" link. If you believe the film is not PD, try reporting it there.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Sep 1, 2007 9:25am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

You're right. It's very confusing.

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Poster: MentalAsAnything Date: Sep 1, 2007 9:30am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

It is confusing, I just bought a new wrapped dvd of Hangar 18 which supposedly is also PD.

The copy looked bad and was done by Legacy yet clearly the dvd was professionally duplicated and the artwork was good but officially Viacom now own the rights to the film, and Legacy aren`t affiliated to Viacom so maybe there is a loophole somewhere.

Its a shame to see a bad copy of a good little film, especially when you bought it thinking it would be a dvd quality copy.

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Poster: SpaceFan Date: Sep 8, 2007 10:11am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Public domain films that aren`t

I believe Hangar 18 is under Paramount Pictures Inc's copyright.
They have been known to send C&Ds to people hosting it anyway.